Cats: The Perfect Killing Machines

I will kill you.

I will kill you.

“The reason cats are so pissy is they’re God’s perfect killing machines but they only weigh 8lbs and we keep picking them up and kissing them” - Dave Thorpe (@arr on Twitter)

Brilliant, right? A perfect description of the conundrum of cats, right? They are all furry and adorable, and they can also slice your face to ribbons with their lethal little feetsies.


Except…it turns out cats really ARE perfect killing machines, and zoologists are warning us to keep them inside before they kill again.

You see, in most places, house cats — and their feral cousins — are actually an invasive species of predator. And like all species of predators, they don’t care that they constitute a non-native threat to the existing ecosystem. They just kill because that’s what predators do.

The effects of cats coming into new areas and killing small animals and birds is startling: scientists found that “596 threatened, and 142 extinct species (total 738) have suffered negative impacts from 30 species of invasive mammalian predators.” 

In fact, 23 species are possibly extinct due to the murderous rampages of invasive predators.

Now, Fluffy and Ginger the kitties are not actually the only culprits in this zoological genocide. Dogs, rodents, and pigs are also responsible for killing off the native fauna after they show up in a new environment. Rodents can be particularly damaging to bird populations. The worst damage is seen on species in limited geographic areas such as islands. Species that occupy larger and varied areas fare better when the mean pigs, dogs, cats, and rats show up.

For the average cat owner who doesn’t want to be party to the slaughter, you can help by keeping your cat indoors. You can also try a brightly colored collar or bell so that small animals can see and hear them coming before they have the chance to attack.

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